TCG Weekly Digest – July 30th, 2015

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July 30, 2015


Weekly roundup about our democracy and The Common Good community


Polls
Bush still trails Walker and Trump. 


Trump 20, Walker 13, Bush 10, Rubio 6, Huckabee 6, Carson 6, Paul 6, Cruz 5, Kasich 5, Christie 3, Perry 2, Jindal 2, Santorum 1, Fiorina 1, Pataki 1 (Source: Quinnipiac)


Clinton remains in the lead.
Clinton 55, Sanders 17, Biden 13, Webb 1, O’Malley 1, Chafee 0 (Source: Quinnipiac)  


2016 Presidential Campaigns


Most likely to succeedTrump’s unexpected popularity has thrown a wrench in the crystal ball works. Chris Cillizza asked five senior Republican strategists who is most likely to walk away with the Republican Presidential nomination. Maybe we don’t need to pay attention to the polls yet. Here’s how the experts rank the candidates as most likely to win:
1. Jeb Bush, 2. Marco Rubio, 3. Scott Walker, 4. Donald Trump, 5. John Kasich
Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post [More]


Fox gives the lower tier a shot with a new debate time:  According to Politico, the bottom six candidates currently likely to be relegated to the new 5pm debate slot are Ohio Gov. John KasichRick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Carly FiorinaGeorge Pataki and Lindsey Graham.”  The prime-time (9pm, August 6) debate will still put a spotlight on the top ten.
Mike Allen, Politico [More]


The Vote
It started in Florida: “The 2000 election in Florida forever changed American politics and kicked off a new wave of GOP-led voter disenfranchisement efforts. Other people began to see that in very competitive elections, you could make a difference by keeping certain voters from participating,” Hailes said. Bush’s election empowered a new generation of voting-rights critics, who hyped the threat of voter fraud in order to restrict access to the ballot, and remade a Supreme Court that would eventually gut the centerpiece of the VRA.”
Upcoming TCG Speaker Ari Berman, The Nation [More]


Why Americans don’t vote: “Fifty-nine percent of non-voters said they were frustrated by the fact that “nothing ever gets done” in government while 54 percent cited “corruption” and 42 percent pointed to the lack of difference between the two parties. About 37 percent said politics doesn’t make much difference in their lives. Less than 1 in 5 Americans believe that government works for the benefit of everyone. Furthermore, recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United v. FECwhich led to the influx of corporate cash into politics and the rise of the donor class, have together turned more people away from politics.  Only 42 percent of Americans voted in the 2014 midterm elections, the lowest level of voter turnout since 1978.”
Sean McElwee, Al Jazeera America [More]


Injustice and Reform
For-profit prisons flex their lobbying muscle:  Several industries have become notorious for the millions they spend on influencing legislation and getting friendly candidates into office: Big Oil, Big Pharma and the gun lobby among them. But one has managed to quickly build influence with comparatively little scrutiny: Private prisons. The two largest for-profit prison companies in the United States – GEO and Corrections Corporation of America – and their associates have funneled more than $10 million to candidates since 1989 and have spent nearly $25 million on lobbying efforts.”
Michael Cohen, The Washington Post [More]


Judge Rakoff speaks out: Federal Judge Jed Rakoff ( TCG American Spirit Awardee) on mass incarceration in the US today. “There are today 2.2 million people imprisoned in the United States in our jails and prisons. That represents a 500% increase over the last 40 years. The United States, which no longer leads the world in many respects, can claim to now lead the world in imprisonment. We have 5% of the total world population; we have 25% of all people in prison. We have by far the highest, in both absolute terms and in per capita terms, imprisonment of any country in the world. Much greater than China, much greater than Russia. It’s really appalling.” [Watch video here]


More TCG Community in the News
Bipartisan bill to improve cybersecurity: “Following the recent cyber-attack at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) which compromised the personal information of at least 22 million individuals, U.S Sens. Mark R. Warner (TCG speaker), Susan Collins, Dan Coats, Barbara Mikulski, all members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Kelly Ayotte and Claire McCaskill (TCG speaker), members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced bipartisan legislation that strengthens the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) authority to protect federal civilian networks.” [More]


The truth about big banks: “There’s nothing more dangerous than a lie whose time has come, and it seems no amount of truth-telling these days can silence the endless refrain of misrepresentations and exaggerations coming out of Washington regarding the risks of big banks. No one party can be singled out; the bash-the-banks chorus is bipartisan, pairing up even the most conservative Republicans with the most liberal Democrats.
Richard Farley (TCG Member), The New York Post [More]


Video: Dick Cavett (TCG Speaker) discusses “Best of Enemies” on The Tonight Show [Watch video here]